Please update your bookmarks and links, The Blackhorse Action Group (Residents Association for the Blackhorse Road area, E17) has moved:

Visit www.blackhorseactiongroup.org.uk for all the latest news on the area and its future development.

Come say hello, have a read, comment, debate or why not join the group?

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Interesting article in the Waltham Forest Guardian this week claiming that the proposed development of a 18 storey tower block on the former Arcade site has hit prices for houses in its shadow.

“When a resident next to the site went to a surveyor she discovered the preferred design that St Modwen has suggested for the site would overshadow her garden, meaning her home will be worth £10,000 less than if situated elsewhere.”

Caramel Quin of Fighttheheight.co.uk had been told that earlier plans for a seven storey development would have boosted prices: “property experts told us the area would be improved and prices would go up“.

Developers will of course make plenty of money from the new tower blocks planned at the Arcade, and the 23 storey Blackhorse Road development.

When residents who currently look out on playing fields and reservoirs find that view replaced by 23 storeys of flats, will they also find the price they can get for their home has fallen too?

Send the developers PR team your views on the proposed Blackhorse Land development here.

As previously reported Prince Charles’ Foundation for the built environment has stated (here) that high rise’s are both unnecessary and inappropriate for Walthamstow.

“Waltham Forest called in the foundation to masterplan the Town Centre of Walthamstow. (Foundation executive) Dittmar says the foundation was interested to explore how Walthamstow, in an outer London borough, could meet mayor Ken Livingstone’s target for affordable housing and how greater residential density was compatible with Walthamstow’s Victorian terraced houses.

Dittmar asks: ‘How can you increase density without sticking people into tower blocks? If you ask Londoners about tower blocks, you find that they are only liked by investors in property.’

The foundation looked at other boroughs and concluded that the four-storey houses of St John’s Wood or Swiss Cottage and the mansion blocks of Kensington and Chelsea provided density without towers”.

national year of reading 2008 is the National Year of Reading and Waltham Forest Council are marking it by continuing to deprive the local community of a much loved and valued Library.

It’s now 1 year since the council pretended to renovate St. James St. Library, then promptly closed the doors without proper local consultation or warning.

To mark the event and continue the campaign to get it reopened, The St James Library campaign are holding a special Open air Library this Saturday from 2pm – 4pm outside the former Library itself (top of Coppermill Lane/bottom of Walthamstow market).

There will be books galore to swap, children’s activities, Carole Vincent from Big Brother will be face painting and live music too (hopefully not from Carole).

Please show your support by going along, bring a book or two or alternatively just bring yourself.

On Thursday BBC London visited the William Morris Gallery to film the 11,000 signature petition protesting at council cuts to both opening hours and its world renowned staff.

The news item featured Councillor Reardon trying to claim all is well, and the opening hours are fine but being forced to admit it will of course be closed for Easter.

The Keep Our Museums Open” website has more information on the cut backs (story so far here), and the fight to reverse them.

Why not celebrate William Morris’s birthday on bank holiday Monday 24 March, from 12pmby joining local residents at the Changing Room Gallery in Lloyds Park, where I’m reliably informed teas, cakes and drinks will be available, as well as entertainment.

OPEN AIR LIBRARY

Protest has never been so much fun.  After 40 years the council closed St. James Street Library without consultation and under the outright lie of claimed refurbishment, stripping the area of a valuable resource.

Residents formed The St James Street Library Campaign and are holding their own open air library outside its former home at the top of Coppermill Lane (bottom of the market).

Come along every Saturday in March from 1pm till 3pm (possibly4?) to swap books, have a natter, help the campaign, and fill out their questionnaire (download here).

Word has it that since the council torched a quarter of a million of the borough’s books the open air library actually has a better selection than the main library!

Picture taken from The Londonist’s excellent coverage of a previous open air library.

The battle to find out which high rise will be the largest, most unpopular, and least wanted by the community is on. 18 storeys are planned on the old arcade site, along with the 15 and 23 storey flats planned for Blackhorse Road.

In response local campaigners have set up a website Fighttheheight.co.uk to try and pressure the council to retreat from their mission to build them high, pack them in, and whatever you do, don’t ever include community facilities!

The site spotlights the much heralded Prince’s Foundation report on the redevelopment of Walthamstow, and how it specifically stated that housing development should be “compatible with Walthamstow’s Victorian terraced houses“.

In an interview with Property Week, Prince Charles & the chief executive of his Foundation, Hank Dittmar talk how high rise housing is inappropriate in an area such as Walthamstow.

They recommended a maximum height of 8 storeys for Walthamstow Town Centre, and neatly summed up the views of the community as: “If you ask Londoners about tower blocks, you find that they are only liked by investors in property“.

Read the interview with Prince Charles in Property Week (scroll towards the end for Walthamstow).
Visit Fighttheheight.co.uk for more on the opposition to high rises in Walthamstow.
The Walthamstow Town Centre Consultation website
Send the developers your views on the 15 & 23 Storey block’s of flats planned at Blackhorse Road.


The Walthamstow Independent (14/03/08) featured the continuing row over plans for new waste facilities in the area.

For some reason Walthamstow is to be saddled with half the facilities needed to serve all of North London, with Blackhorse Lane as one site. Plans include a hazardous waste-processing facility, an incinerator, and recycling centres. The locations of each type have not yet been decided.

The article (here) highlights residents concerns that they have not been made aware enough or properly consulted on the plans.

If you have objections or opinions, visit the North London Waste Plan site or email feedback@nlwp.net

On a side note, due to slightly unclear wording the article gave some people the impression that the Blackhorse Action Group is somehow associated with the Socialist party.
The “Resident” that posted a comment about the “socialist cell organising and campaigning behind the cover of the Blackhorse Action Group” can rest easy. We are a residents group with a fully open AGM and are not affiliated with the Socialist (or any other) Party.

Any residents who wish to join visit here, or come along to our social on the 17th May at The Douglas Eyre Pavilion.

We will meet on Wednesday 12th March , 7.30pm at 97 Edward Rd.

For this meeting we have invited Karen Lyons, the coordinator of all London Time Banks, and Peter Roberts from Mildmay Time Bank in Islington. They will give us an introduction to time banking and advise on how to start up one in our own residents association. Also they will answer all our questions (hopefully) around the whole subject. Everyone interested in this group is very welcome.

For more info please contact: timebanking@blackhorseactiongroup.org.uk

The Waste & Recycling working group looks into ways of improving our recycling and waste issues – anything from trying to sort out the sewers to trying to getting the Council to do a better job of the recycling!

To find out more, email: wasteandrecycling@blackhorseactiongroup.org.uk

We all have something to offer – and we can swap that. The Timebanking working group is like a dating agency for skills: you give an hour of your gardening efforts to a lawyer, a lawyer gives an hour of her time to a neighbour, a teacher gives an hour of lessons in French… each earns an hour of a neighbour’s expertise in kind from the timebank… bargain!

To find out more, email: timebanking@blackhorseactiongroup.org.uk

The Food, Gardening & Environment working group sorts out such issues as allotments and getting hold of locally sourced and/or organic grub. It’s a place where residents can swap gardening tips, as well as tools.

To find out more, email: foodgardeningandenvironment@blackhorseactiongroup.org.uk

Sign up to our Yahoo! Group


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